NBA’s Charles Oakley sues Aria, security officers over alleged ‘beatdown’
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
13 May 2011
NBA "enforcer" power forward Charles Oakley, now an NBA assistant coach, hit a Las Vegas casino resort with a lawsuit Thursday charging he was beaten and injured by security guards during a May 2010 incident.
Attorneys for Oakley, 47, filed suit in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas against the Aria hotel-casino at MGM Resorts International’s CityCenter complex on the Las Vegas Strip. Also sued were five named security officers as well as security officers "Does 1-10."
The suit says Oakley was an invited guest at Aria’s VIP pool area on May 28 when he left the area and was then prevented from re-entering the VIP section by Aria security officers and staff.
"After a verbal altercation" with security officers, Oakley attempted to return to his room when he was "assaulted" by the officers in a secluded area of the resort, the lawsuit alleges.
The suit called this a "gang-style beatdown" by at least five security officers and says they wrestled Oakley to the ground, punched him, handcuffed him and detained him before he was taken by paramedics to Desert Springs hospital for treatment in the emergency room.
The incident left Oakley with injuries to his neck, back, head and wrist, "all or some of which may be permanent and disabling," the suit alleges.
A spokeswoman said MGM Resorts International, which likely hasn't yet been served with the suit, generally doesn't comment on pending litigation.
The suit alleges negligence, assault, assault with excessive force, battery, false imprisonment and defamation.
The defamation count says the handcuffing of Oakley was witnessed by hotel guests and the suit says they were led to "falsely believe and assume that Oakley had committed and been guilty of some crime or wrongdoing."
The suit seeks unspecified general, special and punitive damages.
One of the attorneys who filed the suit, James Smyth II, said Friday he couldn’t comment or elaborate on the complaint. He’s with the Las Vegas law firm Kaempfer Crowell Renshaw Gronauer & Fiorentino.
Several websites last year posted photos of Oakley that appeared to show him recovering in a hospital just after the incident.
Oakley has been one of the VIPs who participated in Michael Jordan’s Celebrity Invitational golf fundraiser – now presented by Aria.
Oakley, who is listed at ESPN.com as being 6-feet-9-inches tall and weighing 245 pounds, played for Chicago, New York, Toronto, Washington and Houston between 1985 and 2004.
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